The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation has announced its final Phase Two redesign of Julian Abele Park, located at 22nd and Carpenter Streets. After seeing the intended design, we can rest assured that this is something to get very excited about. Julian F. Abele (1881-1950) was a prominent African-American architect and Philadelphia native who was employed by fellow architect Horace Trumbauer. Abele is famous for having contributed to the design of the Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as designing much of Duke University.
In ode to Abele’s achievements, the park will have an entrance gate inspired by the Duke University Chapel Tower. It will consist of mostly lawn space in the middle (holds 150 people) surrounded by pavement and encompassed by a canopy of trees. Everything, including the grass area and benches, will be facing a performance space on the opposite side of 22nd Street, which has its back to nearby buildings. The intended plan has enormous potential and could serve to really transform this block into something both useful and attractive, whereas at the moment it sits looking mostly like an empty lot. With a $150K grant in hand, the Parks and Recreation is set to begin construction this fall. —-Alex Graziano